29 June 2023
From the 29th to the 31st of August, smartclippers travelled to Wolfsburg, Germany, for our second tech offsite. We’ve grown over the past year, constantly onboarding both remote and local team members. So the retreat offered the opportunity to not only catch up with old colleagues but finally meet our newest smartclippers in person. Similar to our last offsite in Boltenhagen, we primarily focused on offering our colleagues quality bonding opportunities. Alongside team building, we also worked on company alignment by sharing updates and holding in-person workshops.
Company updates, personal development, and team bonding
This year’s sessions covered a wide range of topics, including updates on our business and products, technology trends within the industry, and self-development topics, such as advocating for yourself and knowing when and how to say ‘no’. Our leadership team took the initiative to inform the entire organisation about the latest happenings within the company. Thomas Servatius, Co-CEO & MD Platform & Technology, presented smartclip’s business and strategic priorities. Dr. Oliver Vesper, Co-CEO & MD Media & Operations and Deputy CEO of RTL AdAlliance also shared the latest updates from our partners at RTL AdAlliance — ensuring that everyone remains informed about relevant organisational topics. To complete the picture, Christian Osterhues, Executive Director of Europe People & Culture, discussed our organisational structure and development, and even shared some interesting smartclip ‘fun facts’ (would you have thought that our smartclippers span across 18 nationalities?).
Our timing for this year’s offsite couldn’t have been better, as we were preparing to unveil our new brand identity just a week later – which we successfully did. Shira Leffel, Executive Director of Marketing & Product Education, introduced the creative process and new design architecture to our colleagues ahead of the public announcement.
Building and sustaining a functioning company culture is an ever-evolving journey. In acknowledgement of this process, we held another culture workshop to continue the ongoing conversations we started at last year’s offsite and smartweek. This time, the session — hosted by Rene Wagner, Chief Technical Officer, and Tobias Wolff, VP of Engineering — focused on recognising our working principles in action. We broke into small groups to share and discuss various day-to-day situations where we’d experienced our working principles come into play.
While we use our retreats as an opportunity to share updates on the company and various projects, we also offer our smartclippers the opportunity to learn about general topics that extend beyond their day-to-day tasks. For example, during the session ‘Talk AI’, Sven Teresniak, Head of Data & Science, spoke about all things AI, dove into the code behind ChatGPT, and explored the ways we could introduce AI into our daily workflows.
Mirjam Naves, Senior Director of Process Management, and Laura Baumann, Project Manager, put our engineering skills to the test. The duo challenged us to work in teams to create a device that would protect two eggs when dropped from the hotel’s fourth floor. We’re proud to say that not one single egg was harmed during the duration of this session — much to our surprise.
We’re a fairly sporty bunch, so we had to take advantage of how perfect the location was for outdoor activities. Some opted to try their hand at waterskiing and wakeboarding, while others opted to put their climbing skills to the test at a high-ropes course. And those not into sports or just needing some downtime were able to relax at the hotel.
When we weren’t getting our sweat on, we explored a bit of what the city had to offer. Our fellow car enthusiasts took a trip to Autostadt to look at some of Volkswagen’s most iconic cars. Others received a hands-on experience at the Phaeno Science Centre, where they interacted with exhibits and even put their own inventions to the test. And our football fans received the ultimate treat and took a private tour of VfL Wolfsburg men’s and women’s football stadiums — even getting to walk through the gameday tunnel like the pros.
“What stuck out to me most was seeing all the happy faces throughout the event and feeling how everyone has grown closer.”
“It was great to be able to come together with everyone — especially the new hires. I also appreciated the opportunity to get a general better idea of what’s going on around the company.”
“I had the opportunity to meet many interesting people, who I normally wouldn’t have talked to in real life. It was cool being surrounded by so many people who shared the same values and common goal. smartclip knows how to do things right.”
Cheers to us!
What can we say? It really isn’t a smartclip event without a bit of party. We made the most of the last night and closed out the retreat by enjoying a nice barbecue with each other. Throughout the evening, we were treated to yummy food, drinks, and great company. While some turned in early, and others quite literally danced the night away, we’re certain everyone would agree it was the perfect ending to the offsite.
A big ‘thank you’ to those who made the offsite possible. We had a great time and can’t wait to see everyone at the next event!